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Posts Tagged ‘2015 Ford F-150’

Ford Grabs Three Slots for North American Car/Truck of the Year Finalists

VW, Chevrolet and Hyundai also up for honors.

by on Dec.09, 2014

The 2015 Ford F-150 is looking for a little redemption by taking top honors in the truck of the year voting.

Ford Motor Co. could be the company to beat in an otherwise hotly competitive automotive race. The Detroit maker landed three of the six eagerly coveted spots as the finalists for 2015 North American Car and Truck/Utility were announced today.

But Ford will face some tough competition from Chevrolet, Hyundai and Volkswagen, the other brands to be named finalists.

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The finalists were chosen by a panel of 57 jurors, all automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. The same group will now select the winners, with the trophies set to be handed out next month at the North American International Auto Show. (more…)

Ford Aims to Retain F-150’s Sales Lead

Production not likely to return to normal levels until Q2 2015.

by on Nov.11, 2014

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the new "aluminum intensive" F-150 should send a message to competitors that company intends to remain atop the truck heap.

The long-awaited launch of the 2015 Ford F-150 should send a message to skeptics that Ford will retain its highly profitable leadership in the full-size pickup market, CEO Mark Fields said Tuesday morning as the first of the new, aluminum-bodied trucks rolled off the assembly line.

Ford is taking what many observers have called its biggest risk in decades switching from a traditional, steel-bodied pickup to one that uses an “aluminum-intensive” design. But the benefits, Ford officials stressed, are numerous: better fuel economy, improved towing and larger payload capacity, among them.

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“We said this was going to transform this industry,” said Fields, as he stood by the first “saleable” 2015 Ford F-150 to roll off the line at the Dearborn Truck Plant near Detroit. “The proof is this first vehicle.” (more…)

Ford Launches Production of New Aluminum F-150

Maker takes biggest bet in decades.

by on Nov.11, 2014

The 2015 Ford F-150 and its aluminum body represent a significant gamble by the automaker.

It might seem like just another day at the big assembly plant, the full-size F-150 pickups rolling down the line at a steady pace. But a closer look reveals that these aren’t any ordinary trucks; they’re the new aluminum-bodied models that comprise one of the biggest bets Ford Motor Co. has placed in years.

Pressed by both regulators and consumers alike to improve fuel economy, automakers are turning to a variety of solutions, including what the industry likes to call “lightweighting.” And by switching from conventional steel bodies to aluminum, Ford engineers were able to trim as much as 750 pounds of mass from some F-150 models. That is expected to yield significant improvements in mileage when the EPA formally confirms tests on the new truck.

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Ford is betting that better mileage and other improvements to the F-150’s design will enhance the appeal of what is already the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. market. Ford produced a total of 647,697 of the trucks last year. Add heavy-duty models such as the F-250 and F-350 and Ford sold about 100,000 more pickups than its nearest competitor, General Motors, in 2013. (more…)

Use of Aluminum to Triple, Says Top Supplier

But soaring demand could also drive up costs.

by on Aug.26, 2014

Ford's new F-150 will be up to 700 pounds lighter than the outgoing pickup truck. Photo credit: Len Katz.

When Ford Motor Co.’s new “aluminum-intensive” F-150 pickup launches production in the coming months it will mark a critical next step in a revolution quite literally reshaping the auto industry, as a growing number of automakers switch from traditional steel to lightweight aluminum.

Most analysts now anticipate a massive shift in materials, and the world’s largest producer of aluminum sheets used for vehicle bodies expects to see demand soar in the near-term – depending on how you measure it, anywhere from 300 to 500%. While that could play out well for consumers, since lighter cars typically use less fuel, it also threatens to push the price of aluminum up, which could translate into higher vehicle costs.

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By 2020, aluminum is expected to make up 25% of total sales for Novelis, Inc., the Atlanta-based manufacturer that is the world’s largest source of aluminum sheets to the auto industry. The auto industry currently uses only 9% of that supply from Novelis which is owned by Hindalco, the world’s largest aluminum sheet supplier, based in Mumbai, India.

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End of an Era – Ford’s Last Steel-Bodied F-150 Rolls off the Line in Detroit

Ford warning some customers may have to wait for new pickup.

by on Aug.25, 2014

A line worker at the Dearborn Truck Plant polishes paint on the old F-150 pickup.

Ford has crossed the point of no return. But it will be months before it knows if one of the biggest risks in the company’s history will pay off.

Over the weekend, the maker produced the last of its steel-bodied F-150 pickups at its historic Dearborn Truck Plant, crews quickly moving to tear up the line. When they’re done with the costly conversion, the factory will begin producing an all-new aluminum-bodied version of the F-150 that analysts say will either become an industry benchmark or one of the biggest disasters in Ford history.

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The changeover will take about a month, and cost $359 million. Ford is making a similar investment at its truck plant in Kansas City, Missouri, which also will produce the new 2015 F-150. The Kansas City plant will continue producing the old 2014 model through year-end, Ford telling dealers and potential customers it plans to take its time with the changeover to ensure it meets tough quality expectations for the new truck.

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Ford Dropping Weight – But Raising Price – of New F-150 Pickup

Prices will jump by as much as $3,615 for 2015 “aluminum-intensive” truck.

by on Jul.28, 2014

Ford is making the 2015 F-150 lighter everywhere, including the owner's bank account. The new model is going to be more expensive than its predecessor.

While Ford’s new “aluminum-intensive” 2015 F-150 pickup will be going on a diet, it’s going to be heavier on the wallet, the new truck’s sticker price jumping by as much as $3,615, depending on the specific model.

But the Detroit maker is hoping that potential buyers still see the 2015 Ford F-150 as a bargain because of the anticipated fuel savings that will come with shaving as much as 732 pounds off the big truck’s mass. On average, the new pickups will come in about 625 pounds under the weight of the steel-bodied 2014 F-150 line.

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Ford is also defending the increase by noting it is adding significantly more content to the 2015 remake of America’s best-selling vehicle. There are new LED accent lamps, larger video screens, and other new features on most of the models. And top-line versions, such as the F-150 Platinum and King Ranch edition, get a level of standard equipment more normally associated with luxury cars than work trucks. (more…)

Ford Ready to Prove Aluminum is Built Ford Tough

Maker holds contest to get ideas to test truck’s mettle.

by on Jan.31, 2014

The 2015 Ford F-150 gets an aluminum body that the company will need to show potential buyers is still "Built Ford Tough."

Ford Motor Co. has a lot riding on the introduction of the new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The best-selling truck for the last 37 years is moving to an all-aluminum body, which runs counter to the rest of the industry.

But job one for Ford’s image makers is proving that the new truck’s aluminum body is as tough or tougher than the steel bodies used for rival trucks from Chevrolet, GMC, Ram and Toyota despite a legion of skeptics prepared to step up and say otherwise.

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One tactic Ford plans to employ is to use testimonials from people who have actually used the new truck. So Ford is looking for truck buyers to test an all-new F-150 before it goes on sale. (more…)